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No field of contemporary biomedical science has been more revolutionized by the techniques of molecular biology than developmental biology. This is an outstanding concise introduction to developmental biology that takes a contemporary approach to describing the complex process that transforms an egg into an adult organism. The book features exceptionally clear two-color illustrations, and is designed for use in both undergraduate and graduate level courses. The book is especially noteworthy for its treatment of development in model organisms, whose contributions to developmental biology were recognized in the 1995 Nobel Prize for physiology and medicine.
Content Level »Lower undergraduate
Keywords »Regeneration - Vertebrate - development - developmental biology - gene expression - nervous system - phenotype
-Development: organisms construct and organize themselves on the basis of inherited information. -Basic stages, principles and terms of developmental biology. -Model organisms in developmental biology. -Comparative review: the phylotypic stage of vertebrates, common vs. disuniting features, and aspects of evolution. -The egg cell and sperm get a dowry. -The start: fertilization and activation of the egg. -Precisely patterned cleavage divisions are driven by an oscillator. -Determination: cells are programmed and committed to their fates. -Epigenetic pattern formation. -Differentiation is based upon differential gene expression that is programmed during determination. -Cell differentiation is frequently irreversible and causes cell death; early cell death can be programmed. -Animal morphogenesis is actively shaped by adhesion and cell migration. -Cell journeys: even germ cells and cells of the peripheral nervous system originate from emigrant precursors. -Development of the nervous system: cell migration pathfinding and self-organization. -Heart and blood vessels: divergent developmental roads but one system in the end. -Stem cells enable continuous growth and renewal. -Signal molecules control development and growth. -Cancer comes from disturbed growth and differentiation control. -Metamorphosis: a 'second embryogenesis' creates a second phenotype. - Sex and the single gene. -Regeneration and renewal vs. loss and death. -Life and death: what is the major mystery?